Wider Selection of Television Programs
in Olympic Season
I remember the Olympics and World Cup have always been uproarious events since I was child. My father and older brother were also getting busy with the opening of the large sports events. They watched sports news programs every day to check the medals table and game schedule. They became reverent with Korean gold medalists together when the award ceremony was taking place. They have never missed success stories of medalists. Due to these Olympics-watching experiences, no wonder that the same games were relayed on three Korean stations, KBS, MBC and SBS, at the same time.
However something strange is going on with the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. While SBS is bringing people live updates from Vancouver, MBC and KBS are airing their regular broadcasts. It is because SBS obtained exclusive rights to televise all Winter Olympics content in violation of the Korea Pool (KP), a tacit agreement that the three broadcasters share broadcasting rights on large sports events like Olympics. Regarding this matter, KBS and MBC are expressing strong dissatisfaction.
I would rather have a wider selection of television programs available. Those who do not have interest in sports games like me may not want to watch only the Olympic Games on television. Therefore, it was a good experience to have been able to watch alternately the Vancouver Olympics and also special programs for the New Year’s holiday. In addition, I thought KP might have wasted broadcast television signals all three broadcasters by focusing on televising sports games in a sports events season. It has been criticized for distracting the public from matters that are of much greater importance. After all, the local election is scheduled to take place in June when the 2010 FIFA World Cup is going to be held by South Africa.
It is true that there are problems to be arbitrated, such as excessive competition caused by the monopoly of broadcast rights and the possibility of the outflow of national capital. However, what I really want to say is that through this matter, we should realize that it is not the best way for three stations to broadcast the Olympics all together like they used to, and we have a right to have access to more diverse programs during the Olympic season.
By Kwon A-mi, Reporter